The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

They are: 1) Words of Affirmation; 2) Quality Time; 3) Receiving Gifts; 4) Acts of Service; 5) Physical Touch

A guy lamented that love evaporated after his 3 marriages. The first wife gave too much attention on the baby and not him. The last wife complained that he did not do the small acts of service, like clearing the garbage. She turned negative and everything went downhill. It is easy to obtain advice on the web. These forms of advice are helpful but the truth is that people speak different love languages. Communication is best with the same primary or secondary languages. Being sincere is not enough. The key is to learn about your spouse’s primary love language. There may be dialects, but there are only 5 key love languages.

Love is a central role in life. The need to feel loved is a primary human emotional need. Children need love and affection, and the sense that he or she belongs and is wanted. Fill your love tank so that your children won’t misbehave. There is a case about a girl who went astray because her parents didn’t provide any love. Material things do not replace love. Solitary confinement is a cruel punishment. Intimacy, love are key components of marriage. However, love can be elusive sometimes. People behave differently when their love tanks are full.

Most people enter marriage this way. We hit the in-love experience. Usually, we find that the level of intensity will increase after a few dates. Then, we guess that it’s the real thing. It can be a euphoric feeling. But love is blind sometimes and you will think the other party is perfect. We believe love will last forever and that it can conquer all. According to research, such in-love experience lasts only 2 years. After that, we can see the other party’s flaws clearly. Marriage is whole different ball game. The problem is faulty information. Never have the impression that in the in-love obsession will last forever. When you are in love, everything else seems irrelevant. By nature, all humans are egocentric. By after a while, people will say what they honestly want to. Intimacy may evaporate after a while. Couples need to love each other after this phase. Love requires discipline and energy. Expend energy to benefit the other person. Learn to speak the same appropriate love languages.

Gift 1: Use words that build up. ‘An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a wind word cheers him up.’ Use compliments on someone’s attire. Show gratitude. When someone does something good, give a verbal compliment in the correct tone. Use encouraging words to inspire courage. Do not pressurize the person, but encourage the person to pursue their interests. Learn to empathize too. Use kind words. Watch the tone. Do not bring up the past unnecessarily. Forget the past and move on. Use humble words. Know each others’ desires and their wants. When you make a request, use the right words. Make requests, not demands. The deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated. Learn to record good words to use. The use of indirect words of affirmation will also help – say positive things about your spouse to other people. Write down the positive aspects of your spouse.

None of us is perfect. In marriage we do not always do the best or right thing. We have sometimes done and said hurtful things to our spouses. We cannot erase the past. We can only confess it and agree that it was wrong. We can ask for forgiveness and try to act differently in the future. – Gary Chapman

The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love. It is a fact, however, that when we receive affirming words we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate and do something our spouse desires. – Gary Chapman

Gift 2: Sometimes, people want quality time with the other party. Give your undivided attention and start chatting. Look at each other. Look at your spouse in the eye. Make time for the other person. Write down the type of activities she likes to do. You can keep your spouse’s love fuel tank full by spending time together. Focus Attention and do not multitask. Have quality conversations with one another. Share your experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires. Listening is a big part of quality conversation. Sometimes people don’t need advice, they just want to feel understood. Most people do not listen well but speak better. Maintain eye contact; do not multi-task; listen for feelings; observe body language; refuse to interrupt. If your spouse’s love language is quality time, you must reveal your thoughts and feelings. Do not deny our feelings, rather, learn to express them. Establish a daily sharing time. Engage in quality activities together. Do things together and give each other undivided attention. The purpose is to experience something together. It also provides a memory bank. It is definitely worth the time.

Gift 3: The author discovered that based on history, gift giving was a part of the love-marriage process. Gift giving transcends cultural barriers. The gift is a symbol of the thought of that other person. It doesn’t matter if the gift costs money. Gift giving is fundamental to love. They are visual symbols. They may be purchased, found or made. There is no need to wait for a special occasion before giving someone a gift. The gift of self. Be there when it matters. This is the gift of presence. Be there when people need you most. Let nature be your guide. Learn to hand-make gifts.

Gifts need not be expensive, nor must they be given weekly. But for some individuals, their worth has nothing to do with monetary value and everything to do with love. – Gary Chapman

Gift 4: Doing the things you know your spouse will like you to do. Cook a meal, setting a table, washing dishes, paying the bills etc. Learn to do the chores in life. Don’t demand, but rather, learn to request. Make a list of things to do. Usually after marriage, behavior will change. Love is a choice and cannot be coerced. Listen to criticisms as it could indicate what the love language of your spouse is. Criticism often needs clarification. Are you a doormat or a lover? Do not treat each other like object. Do not use manipulation or coercion. Try to ignore stereotypes and the effects it has on us. Learn to change stereotypes and see things differently. Little things do matter a lot.

Gift 5: This is one way of communicating emotional love. Examples are holding hands, kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse. There are sensitive receptors throughout our body. Just touching your spouse can be an expression of love. Touching each other only takes a moment. Touch your spouse in new places. The body is for touching. Be careful when touching an opposite gender when you have met for the first time. Physical touch is a powerful communicator of love. Hold her when she cries. Disappointments will happen and you need to love him or her when that happens. Crises will provide such opportunity.

You need to discover what’s your primary love language. There is usually the core one, that will be the primary one. ‘What makes you feel most loved by your spouse? What do you desire above all else?’ Without that language, would your love tank suffer? What have you most requested from your spouse? Observe your actions carefully. There are two groups of people where it will be more difficult to determine. Those groups are 1) love tanks are empty for very long; 2) Love tanks are full for very long. Tell your spouse your love tank and ask her what can she do to fill it.

Even in marriages that have difficulties, it is always easy to change it but choosing to love. Love makes the future different. Your spouse needs to know your love language to fill your tank. Learn to meet her needs everyday. There is a deep difference between falling in love and deep emotional need to be loved. There will be a point where you will be brought down to reality. The key to success is discovering each other’s primary love language and choosing to speak it frequently. You will do it for love, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you.

Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself. – Gary Chapman

There are other emotional needs, like security, self-worth, significance etc. Once you receive love or love someone, most of the above are met. Once someone expresses love to you, you will feel significant. Life has meaning. Once your love needs are met, you can turn outwards.

Love is not the answer to everything, but it creates a climate of security in which we can seek answers to those things that bother us. – Gary Chapman

Is it possible to love someone whom you hate? Criticism and condemnation can kill any marriage. The answer is that it is possible. Keep the faith. Even if you speak the other person’s love language, will it work? A counselor cannot predict behavior with absolute certainty. It is a choice to perform loving acts to someone you hate.

Keep your love tanks full. Meet the emotional need for love. Once both parties are on an empty emotional love tank, it spells trouble. To find out what the other party’s love language is, ask the following: 1) How does he most often express love to others? 2) What does he complain about most often?

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